The steam generated through the use of waste heat recovered from a steam injection gas turbine generally exceeds the maximum mass of steam which can be injected into steam injection gas turbine. The ratio between the steam and air flowing into the engine is not more than 10–15%, as an increase in the pressure ratio can cause the compressor to stall. Naturally, the surplus steam can be utilized for a variety of alternative applications.
During the warmer months, the ambient temperature increases and results in reduced thermal efficiency and electrical capacity. An inlet air cooling system for the compressor on a steam injection gas turbine would increase the rating and efficiency of power plants which use this type of equipment. In order to improve the performance of steam injection gas turbines, the authors investigated the option of cooling the intake air to the compressor by harnessing the thermal energy not used to produce the maximum quantity of steam that can be injected into the engine. This alternative use of waste energy makes it possible to reach maximum efficiency in terms of waste recovery. This study examined absorption refrigeration technology, which is one of the various systems adopted to increase efficiency and power rating. The system itself consists of a steam injection gas turbine and a heat recovery and absorption unit, while a computer model was utilized to evaluate the off design performance of the system. The input data required for the model were the following: an operating point, the turbine and compressor curves, the heat recovery and chiller specifications. The performance of an Allison 501 KH steam injection gas plant was analyzed by taking into consideration representative ambient temperature and humidity ranges, the optimal location of the chiller in light of all the factors involved, and which of three possible air cooling systems was the most economically suitable. In order to verify the technical feasibility of the hypothetical model, an economic study was performed on the costs for upgrading the existing steam injection gas cogeneration unit. The results indicate that the estimated pay back period for the project would be four years. In light of these findings, there are clear technical advantages to using gas turbine cogeneration with absorption air cooling in terms of investment.